Daniel Ricciardo is confident the Renault Formula 1 team can be competitive at every upcoming venue following a recent run of good results.
Over the last four races, Ricciardo finished fourth at Spa, sixth at Monza, fifth at Mugello and then fourth again in last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi despite a time penalty.
Ricciardo currently lies sixth in the world championship, just two points behind third-placed Lando Norris in the McLaren and one shy of Red Bull’s Alex Albon, while Renault is seven points behind McLaren in fifth in the constructors’ table.
The Sochi result was a confidence booster for Ricciardo because it hadn’t been a particularly strong venue either for the team or himself in previous seasons.
“After this weekend I can certainly be more confident moving forward,” he said when asked by Autosport.
“Nico [Hulkenberg] did pretty well around here last year, but it certainly wasn’t our strongest track. And personally, it’s never been my strongest track.
“So to put in a good result here personally, but also to have the car underneath me here, really from FP1 onwards, I think that says a lot.
“It gives me confidence now I think at any track we go to.
“Whether it’s a top five car, I don’t know, but I think certainly we can realistically aim for Q3 at every track now, no matter what the layout.”
Regarding the recent run of form he said: “It’s been really positive the last four races, the worst result was sixth, so I’m really happy with that.
“Reliability has been good. We’re in a good place, I’m in a good place. I’ve picked up a few mistakes, but I’m still pleased with the outcome.”
Esteban Ocon, who ran fourth in the first stint in Sochi before dropping back to seventh, agreed that the Enstone team is making progress.
“It’s going in the right direction,” said the Frenchman.
“We see that the pace is strong.
“For the future races it’s good, we’re catching the guys in the front, which is the main target for the constructors’ championship, and I was fourth at some point. It means that it’s getting there.”